Gateshead 1 Welling 1: Frustration for Tynesiders after another draw

Gateshead FC were last night held to a draw by visitors Welling United, despite having the upper hand for most of the match

Ian Horrocks/Getty Images Josh Walker of Gateshead FC
Josh Walker of Gateshead FC

The (un)luck of the draw? A missed opportunity, certainly.

Gateshead are still fourth, still handily ensconced in the Skrill Premier play-off positions.

But how better might that standing be had they not been held to a draw, their sixth in eight games, last night by Welling United?

Welling, who were there for the taking. For the middle hour of this encounter, the Tynesiders battered the part-time visitors.

They simply could not find a winner.

For starters, they had to uncover an equaliser.

By the 10th minute Lee Clarke had already tested Adam Bartlett from distance when Joe Healy headed in Ross Lafayette’s right-wing cross.

But that at least stirred the hosts. How they failed to score by half-time was as unfathomable as they were irresistible.

James Curtis, Marcus Maddison, James Brown and JJ O’Donnell went close.

On the half-hour mark Welling goalkeeper Lee Butcher appeared to handle John Oster’s lob outside his area, but referee Jason Whiteley thought otherwise, waving play on.

Unmoved, the Heed kept at it. Brown headed wide, Maddison’s free-kick was saved and O’Donnell nodded the rebound onto the bar. And after Ben Clark’s shot seemed to be blocked by a stray hand, Oster fired across goal.

Oster’s error at the opposite end allowed Kurtis Guthrie a pot-shot at Bartlett before half-time, but after the interval the hosts picked up where they left off. O’Donnell’s effort was blocked and Butcher saved, again, from Maddison.

But on 49 minutes, the latter went down, suspiciously easily mind, under a challenge from Healy, Whiteley pointed to the spot and, from it, Maddison converted.

The home team suffered a brief scare when Loui Fazakerley tapped over. But elsewise, the ball was all Gateshead’s. They just couldn’t do anything with it.

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